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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have had japanese cars and motorcycles for approximately half of my 45 years of driving.
never heard of j.i.s. (japanese industrial standard) screws/screwdrivers until just recently when i bought my goldwing and signed on to a goldwing forum.
j.i.s. screws look exactly like phillips head screws (well, not EXACTLY; but i haven't been able to spot the difference yet) but they are designed to be installed/removed with a j.i.s. screwdriver. it seems that a phillips screwdriver was designed to "cam out" of the screw during assembly at the factory. this prevents over-torquing and, presumably, marring of the screw-head. if you have a used japanese bike the chances are good that it has some chewed up j.i.s. screws from being worked on with a phillips screwdriver. my goldwing definitely does, and i am sure that i am not the only person who has found what i thought were phillips screws, very difficult to remove.

having read all this on-line i went fishing through my collection of phillips screwdrivers and eventually found one that said "yamaha" on it ... clearly the remnant of someones factory tool kit. tested it on a few goldwing screws and sure enough, the fit is noticeably better. even damaged screws came out willingly.

note that this is not a "metric" thing, and does not apply to euro bikes, but if you own a japanese bike, do yourself a favour and order a set of j.i.s. screwdrivers. you will probably have to do this online ... it's one of the best-kept secrets in the tool business. you will just get a blank stare if you walk into canadian tire or it's equivalent and start blathering about "j.i.s."
 

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I find that J.I.S. screw drivers or bits work a lot better on Japanese cars as well.

Tons of those impossible screw to pull out like the infamous screws on a IAC (Idle Air Control - a job so hard they sale the screwed part on so you don't have to disassemble it) on a Toyota Corolla are relatively easy with a little penetrating oil and a J.I.S. versus a Phillips.
 

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The original Phillip's design was for assembly - when the proper torque was reached, the screwdriver tip would be forced out of the screw, preventing breakage. That's why they will strip a screw so easily when you try to remove them. The profile for the driver used in Japan and other East Asian countries didn't have this requirement imposed, so the profile is actually very different. I've had sets of JIS drivers for some time now.
 

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Welcome to the world of Japanese equipment. You should have a set of J.I.S. drivers and then replace all those screws with either, torx, allen or robertson.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah ... got fed up with damaged "phillips" screws long ago and started replacing them with allen head where i could.
 

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I love Robertson, if they're good enough for Henry Ford they're good enough for me. Most positive and easily engaged drive there is.
 

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I use Robertson's on the boat.
 

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I love Robertson, if they're good enough for Henry Ford they're good enough for me. Most positive and easily engaged drive there is.
I use Robertson's on the boat.
Robertson's are just plain awesome. My wife made a fence out of them and all the usual issues with phillips just didn't exist. She bought them on accident, but talk about a good accident!

I had to look it up to know what you were even talking about. A square driven screwdriver. Worked great....not sure where you'd get them to put on a motorcycle with the other end in m6 and m8 and what not, lol.
 

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I've researched the Robertson drive a little more. Apparently Henry Ford found that the Robertson drive would save 2 hours assembly time per vehicle and approached Robertson for the USA distribution rights. Robertson declined, Phillips had just designed their drive, and Ford used Phillips instead.
 

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I've been using them a few years. They work great. They lock in & turn & you don't have to apply body weight to keep them from stripping out. Nothing more frustrating than trying to remove a phillips screw with an ice pick.
 

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Even though I've owned Japanese motorcycles and cars over the last 50+ years, I didn't discover the J.I.S. screwdriver until I bought a used Miata and joined the forum. Now I wonder how I wonder how I ever got along without them. If you you look very closely at the J.I.S. bit (I now own screwdrivers and bits for ratchet screwdrivers and smaller drivers for confined spaces) you will see a tiny "x" around the larger "+". It's this deep combination that mates so much better with the J.I.S. screw which you will only see on Japanese vehicles. On my Miata a standard Phillips screwdriver would eventually slip out of the J.I.S. screw head or even strip it. The J.I.S. screwdriver and screw actually give you so much better grip that you worry about stripping the threads of the screw instead of stripping the head. With this better contact you don't have to grip the handle so hard which gives better control in tight places.

I wish all vehicles used this system. By the way, let's give an honorable mention to the Torx head screws and bits.
 

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Even though I've owned Japanese motorcycles and cars over the last 50+ years, I didn't discover the J.I.S. screwdriver until I bought a used Miata and joined the forum. Now I wonder how I wonder how I ever got along without them. If you you look very closely at the J.I.S. bit (I now own screwdrivers and bits for ratchet screwdrivers and smaller drivers for confined spaces) you will see a tiny "x" around the larger "+". It's this deep combination that mates so much better with the J.I.S. screw which you will only see on Japanese vehicles. On my Miata a standard Phillips screwdriver would eventually slip out of the J.I.S. screw head or even strip it. The J.I.S. screwdriver and screw actually give you so much better grip that you worry about stripping the threads of the screw instead of stripping the head. With this better contact you don't have to grip the handle so hard which gives better control in tight places.

I wish all vehicles used this system. By the way, let's give an honorable mention to the Torx head screws and bits.
I'll second that. Some people don't like Torx but I think the reason is they use imperial when metric should be used and visa versa. That's nearly the same as JIS versus Philips. Using the correct tool makes such a difference.
 
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